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Mat Coch writes:
Jenson Button has laughed off suggestions that McLaren is a hard task master, claiming that while it is expected that he work hard, he is rewarded with a great deal of freedom.
His comments were made in reaction to former teammate Lewis Hamilton claiming the pastures in Brackley are greener than those in Woking. When asked what Hamilton has appreciated most of his switch to the other silver team he claimed it was the extra time at home in which he could train and socialise.
The suggestion from Hamilton was clear; McLaren set high expectations and wanted more him than he was willing to give.
"In this team you work," smiled Button, "and you work probably harder than you would in other teams in terms of sponsor requests.
"You need to understand that, and initially for me when I came to this team it was a shock, it really was," he admitted. "You come here and it's so much busier."
However far from aggravating Button the 2009 champion understands that happy sponsors are more likely to continue paying out. A heavy schedule of commitments is a trade-off he is willing to make to help the team succeed, and one he feels is repaid by McLaren in the way it incorporates its drivers in the design and development process.
"I feel that you have so much freedom and so much help, if you need it," Button expanded as he looked to dismiss the clinical and sterile reputation associated with McLaren. "I've heard so many rumours about, not from Lewis as such, but read so much from the media about how this team is and it's so far from the truth.
"When I came here I thought it would be like maybe people perceived it to be but it's not at all," he argued. "It's nothing like that when you're on the inside. It's such a big family and they'll do anything to make sure that we're comfortable so that when we go racing we're fully focussed."
The McLaren-Hamilton relationship had gone stale; not sour as there is no hint of bitterness, but like a teenager leaving home there is a sense of great expectations. Of course he was quite positive about McLaren when they were paying his wages, so speaking highly of his new team (and Button speaking similarly of his) should be expected.
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